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CBS 1Q earnings rise despite lower ad sales

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 8, 2014 at 4:55 pm •  Published: May 8, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS's first-quarter earnings rose 6 percent as higher licensing fees from the company's Showtime network helped overcome an advertising downturn caused by less sports programming.

The owner of television's top-rated network has been reducing its reliance on the volatile advertising market by seeking higher fees from cable, satellite and Internet video providers. They want the right to show popular series such as "The Big Bang Theory," ''The Good Wife" and "Dexter."

CBS Corp. evidently isn't making the transition quickly enough to satisfy investors. The company's stock dipped $1.51, or 2.6 percent, to $56.50 in extended trading after the first-quarter numbers came out.

The New York company blamed a 12 percent decline in its advertising sales on the rotating rights to the Super Bowl, which has become television's marquee marketing program. After appearing on CBS last year, the Super Bowl shifted over to Fox this year.

The absence of the Super Bowl accounted for virtually all of the ad decrease during the first three months of this year, according to CBS. The network also broadcast two fewer games during the NCAA men's basketball tournament than it did last year.

Meanwhile, revenue from CBS' cable networks rose 12 percent from last year. The company credited higher licensing fees from Internet video services such as Netflix Inc. for the rights to Showtime series such as "Dexter," as well as higher retransmission frees paid by cable and satellite distributors.

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